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World Economic Survey 1987

Current Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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The modest expansion that characterizes the world economy during most of the first half of the 1980s persisted in 1986. Inflation has decelerated considerably and industrial countries are entering their fifth year of expansion, though at a slow pace. The world economy appears to be set in a slow growth path, which is likely to delay the great adjustments required at the national and international levels. The continuation in 1986 and early 1987 of the trade imbalances of the larger industrial economies has added to the strains on the world financial and trade systems.

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Economic growth and trade in China, Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the period 1986-1990

During the first half of the 1980s, economic growth in most countries of Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was, on average, less than during the preceding five years. The annual rate of expansion of aggregate output in Eastern Europe decelerated from 3.9 per cent in 1976-1980 to 2.2 per cent in 1981-1985 and in the USSR during the same period from 4.2 per cent to 2.2 per cent. In most Eastern European countries, performance remained well behind the plan targets for 1981-1985. This comparatively sluggish performance was widespread within countries. In every country for which data are available, the pace of expansion in agriculture, construction and industry lagged behind plan targets and, in many instances, trailed the achievements of the late 1970s. In addition, there were marked year-to-year variations in the recorded levels of economic activity. The fundamentals underlying the economic fluctuations and comparatively modest performance are complex. They range across the spectrum of key domestic and external constraints, some of which are chiefly exogenous and others the result of policy choices.

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